Alan Alda announced his Parkinson’s diagnosis to the world in 2018. He’s continued to update fans on his condition and health challenges since then.

When Was Alan Alda Diagnosed With Parkinson’s?

Alan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2015. He publicly shared his diagnosis during an episode of CBS This Morning in July 2018.

“I’ve had a full life since then,” he said during the episode. “I’ve acted, I’ve given talks, I help at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook. I started this new podcast. And I noticed that – I had been on television a lot in the last couple of weeks talking about the new podcast – and I could see my thumb twitch in some shots and I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.”

The M*A*S*H actor explained that he got tested for the neurodegenerative disorder after he began experiencing distressing dreams.

“I was having a dream that someone was attacking me and I threw a sack of potatoes at them. But what I was really doing was throwing a pillow at my wife,” Alan said.

Alan later revealed his immediate reaction to receiving his diagnosis.

“I began to exercise. A lot of people hear they have Parkinson’s and get depressed and panicky and don’t do anything, just hoping it’ll go away. It’s not going to, but you can hold off the worst symptoms,” he told AARP in May 2020. “Movement helps: walking, biking, treadmills. But also specific things: I move to music a lot. I take boxing lessons from a guy trained in Parkinson’s therapy. I do a full workout specifically designed for this disease. It’s not the end of the world when you get this diagnosis.”

Alan Alda Has Parkinson's Disease: Updates on Actor's Health
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Alan Alda Has Spoken Out About His Health Over the Years

Alan, who has been married to wife Arlene Alda since 1957, launched a podcast called “Clear+Vivid.” He has continued to make acting appearances, including 2019’s Marriage Story and 2022’s Ray Donovan: The Movie.

“It was seven years ago that I was diagnosed, and I have a tremor, which means that I can play any character as long as he has a tremor,” the Emmy winner told The New Yorker in June 2022.

His character in Marriage Story, Bert Spitz, also had a tremor.

“We didn’t mention it. It was a very slight tremor at that point,” Alan explained. I worked with Liev Schreiber on Ray Donovan, and they wrote it into the script, because [the main character’s] brother had a tremor. So, his therapist had the same problem that his brother had, which they thought would be interesting.”

Alan also opened up about one of the challenges he faced after his diagnosis.

“Tying shoelaces can be a challenge with stiff fingers,” he told People in October 2022. “Think of playing the violin while wearing mittens. The silver lining is that I keep getting more confident that I can always find a workaround.”

In April 2024, Joy Behar shared an update on longtime friend Alan’s battle with Parkinson’s, revealing that they still go out to dinner all the time.

“First of all, I just adore Alan Alda,” she said during an episode of The View’s “Behind the Table” podcast. “You know he’s suffering right now with Parkinson’s disease but even with that, he’s hysterical laughing and stuff.”